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Payday Report as Promised 10/14/2022

October 15th, 2022 at 02:26 am

Sometimes putting the budget spending up is a proud moment and other times it makes me feel naked and this is the second, but I need to get the accountability back and show just how much we have been spending on the credit card.  I haven't actually made the payment on that yet, because Citi is being wonky.  I can sign in.  I can even make it to the next page, but when I click on make a payment it just turns in to an endless circle.

I waited ten minutes.  I logged out and tried again.  I logged out and waited an hour and tried again.  I logged  out and waited two hours and tried again.  Still nothing.  I'll try again tonight or tomorrow, but the amount of the payment will be listed below.  Hopefully they will have their act together.  We don't have a Citi branch closer than a 90 mile drive away, so it's not like I can just pop in and pay it, either.  It's not due until the 3rd, but I just like to do things when I have the money to do things.

Remember that I run a zero based budget.  Every dollar, every cent has a name.  So every paycheck is spent in full.  I have a cushion in checking of $900 in case something goes horribly wrong and since I bank with a credit union they will automatically transfer money from my savings account (I keep $2000 of the EF in there) if for some reason that were not enough for a fee of $1.    You have to love credit unions.

I've never had either thing happen since 2010 and that was because I transferred the wrong amount of money to my online savings account when I meant to pay a credit card with the same name as that bank, and couldn't get it back in time to cover an automatic payment, and didn't realize it until I got the notice that they'd transferred money from the savings that was with my checking.  Back then they didn't even charge the $1 fee, though.  Now if you don't have the money to cover it at all, they give you 10 days to get the money in the acount and charge a $13 fee.  Still better than what a bank will do.  I've never had that happen at all.

Anyway, here's the spending for this pay cycle.

$358.40 Tithe

$500.00 October Utilities

$500.00 Groceries

$200.00 Medical Fund

$310.00 Chiropactor Monthly Family Plan

$_70.00 Garbage

$167.00 Car Insurance Fund

$_50.00 DH Spending Money

$_50.00  My Spending Money

$_30.00 DD's Allowance

$_90.00 DS's Allowance

1258.62 Citi

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3584.02 Total Money Out

DD has a smaller allowance because she is disabled and seldom does chores.  It is more of a pity allowance so she had more money to spend.  DS earns his with a lot of caregiving for DD and doing chores and helping me with my limitations due to RA, fibromyalgia, and degenerative disc disease.

Back Into Money Saving Mode With Groceries--Tracker at the End

October 4th, 2022 at 11:44 am

We are starting hardcore meal planning and meal prepping to get back into saving money on food, eating better, including a lot more vegetables and a lot less carbs, almost everything from scratch, and slaying the takeout demon and waster of money and tempter of credit card spending.  I spent $301 on groceries yesterday and today from a $500 two week grocery budget.  My goal is to have $100 left at the end of the 2 week pay period to put in the beef fund.  I have 11 days to go.  I think we can do it, but we will see.  And if we don't eat out, we'll probably save another $500 or more.

I started cooking with what we had on hand and eased into it so that I could be at the spot we are today.  Last week I took all of my ripe tomatoes and started cooking them down so I would have a decent amount of sauce to start with and then cooked up a bunch of hamburger and a bunch of garden zucchini and mixed it all up together and doled it all out into meal prop containers with a side of wild rice (no rice for me).  It provided 3 lunches for 4 people for 3 days.  I froze the rest of the very delicious tomato sauce for future use.

The day after that I did a massive grocery shop and then today I picked up a dozen things that the other store didn't have.  Most of today I spent chopping up things and preparing other things.  I cut up 8 bell peppers into slices and dices and 5 onions (mine that I grew, 1 purple, 4 Walla Walla sweets) into slices and dices, 6 things of broccoli, 3 pounds of potatoes, most of a batch of green onions, cut up 1 pound of cheese into cubes for snacking, and shred the other half of the brick, and cooked up 2 pounds of breakfast sausage and some of the diced onion and bell peppers, while the potatoes were roasting in the pan.

I assembled and cooked one breakfast casserole with potatoes, eggs, a little milk, cheese, green and yellow bell peppers, sweet onions, and ground breakfast sausage.  And I have the other one most of the way ready.  It so far has potatoes, sausage, green onions, and cheese in the dish, and in the morning I will saute spinach, add the eggs and milk and cook that one.  The second one will be for my daughter as she can't handle the peppers and regular onions.  We will freeze half of it as she can't get through it fast enough.  I won't be eating either of these because of the potatoes, but saved out some sausage and will just make myself an omelet for breakfast with that, bell pepper, green onions, and cheese.

After breakfast, I will be cooking up a whole lot of polish sausage and kielbasa some for this week and some to go in the freezer for next week or the week after that, not sure yet.  Not really sure if we want to do sausage and peppers for lunches 2 weeks in a row.  But I'd rather cook it all up in one long session now.  Then I'll do enough peppers for this week's lunches.  I'll have to buy more peppers tomorrow, but I'll probably just slice and freeze.  There is a good sale that ends tomorrow, but I didn't have room in my fridge to buy more than the eight I bought until I started making meals and putting things in the freezer or reducing the size of the veggies by slicing and dicing.  If the guys want something to go with the sausage and peppers that is more carby they can have whatever leftovers we will have like mashed potatoes from tonight's dinner or root veggies, or mixed veggies from the freezer, or rice.  Whatever.

While doing that I will have some hamburger thawing to mix with the mild Italian sausage that is already thawed in the fridge so I can get some meatballs made up.  If we have any ground chicken, turkey, or lamb left, I'll throw that in, too.  I want to make enough to have three meals worth of meatballs.  We'll have gluten free penne and meatballs with zucchini for dinner tomorrow night.  I'll want something easy I can just dump in the Instant Pot.

I'll thaw out some other sausage I have that is not from the hog we just got that needs to be used up, along with some hamburger and make up a couple of meatloaves for the freezer and while I am at it I will use the two mild Italian sausages that are from the hog we bought and are thawed out to make meatballs for the freezer.

For dinner tomorrow we will have baked chicken with roasted root vegetables of a large parsnip, a very large sweet potato, two turnips and two yellow potatoes, and purple green beans from my garden.

For Wednesday we will have pork chops, fried potatoes, and more purple green beans.

Thursday will be beef stir-fry with broccoli, onions, carrots, celery, bok choy, water chestnuts, purple green beans, and bamboo shoots if I still have a can. It will be served with white rice.

Friday we will have Butter and Basil Chicken with sheet pan vegetables (they had these at Costco, I don't remember exactly what was in them, but they looked yummy and were mostly low carb), and baked potatoes.

Saturday will be Coho salmon, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.  I might get some corn on the cob, too, when I pick up more bell peppers.  We haven't had any this summer.  Too long recovering from the reoccuring stomach virus.

Sunday will be meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, and purple green beans.

I've also got to do some more peeling and cutting up tomorrow.  I need to get cucumbers and carrots peeled, cucumbers, carrots and radishes sliced, and carrots and celery cut into sticks.  I need to make up some French onion dip with plain yogurt for my daughter and make up some green godess dressing with plain yogurt for my son.  I have to finish chopping up the bottom portion of the green onions.

So we have salad fixings, coleslaw fixings, veggie sticks, and pico de gallo fixings on hand to eat at will, as well as fruit for snack cravings for those who want more carbs than me.  My son has plain tortilla chips left.  Sometimes I will throw pico in my eggs.  My coleslaw is not made with sugar, just 1 tbsp of honey in the entire simple dressing, and no vinegar, to keep the carb count low.

Once I get through what I've got planned so far, then I need to inventory the house freezer and see where to go from there, while I am still feeling like I can.  I'd like to get some more meals put together to kill the "I don't wanna cook" attitidude or even the "I can't keep food down and can't get near food" issue that happened so much this summer.  Even if it is just having all the ingredients ready in the freezer to be thrown together it will help so much.  And if I can't throw it together at least the guys will be able to.  I still think it was the medicine I quit taking, but I can't be sure, as I still don't feel right.  It still might be related to my heart.  I will be so glad when I get the results back from the 2 week heart monitor test.

I am planning out some freezer meals to do depending on when certain sales hit, but I missed the boneless skinless chicken sale because I was sick when it hit, so cilantro lime chicken and parsley chicken are off the table until the next one unless I want to thaw, skin, and debone the chicken I already have and refreeze it, which I don't.  So no premaking them, but I can make them for dinner with no premaking if I feel like it.  It'll just have to be a good day where I am on top of things.  It'll probably be 5 to 6 weeks before that sale hits again.  The chuck roast sale went up .47/lb, from the normal cycle.  I think it is going to stay there.  It was the same week I was too sick to leave the house, just at a different store. I was going to buy 8 so I could can, but such is life.

Here's a list of the groceries I bought:

1 large Zoi Greek yogurt

1 large bag mixed vegetable blend

2 steamer bags riced cauliflower

1 lb brick extra sharp white cheddar

2 lb brick medium cheddar

32 ounce Daisy sour cream

1 gallon organic milk

1 half gallon lactose free organic milk

4 dozen organic pasture-raised eggs

2 beef chuck roasts

2 bags cole slaw mix

1 bag spinach

1 bunch cilantro

1 bunch Italian parsley

2 limes

2 large cucumbers

2 large green zucchini

1 bunch green onions

1 bunch radishes

5.65 lb of yellow potatoes

4 very large sweet potatoes (3 types)

2 apple juice

3 lb strawberries

2 bok choy

1 savoy cabbage

1 thumb ginger root

4 parsnips

7 turnips

Fresh marjoram

2 red, 2 green, 2 yellow, 2 orange bell peppers

Bananas

Blackberries

Broccoli

1 Elephant garlic

2 lb bag organic carrots

Fresh thyme

1 box yellow kiwis

3 lb bag baby potatoes

6 avocados

Blueberries

Bartlett pears

Cosmic crisp apples

Celery

1 leek

Beechers flagship cheese

18 month cave aged gouda

Feta crumbles

4 oz can sliced black olives

4 cans pumpkin puree

1 Redmond pink Himalayan salt shaker

At Costco:

2 12 packs polish sausage

3 8 packs kielbasa

Italian seasoning

Shaky Pepper

Pink fine ground Himalayan salt to refill salt shaker

1 bag sheet pan vegetables

1 package beef snack sticks

So hopefully only a few little filler items from here.

Surfacing

June 9th, 2022 at 02:15 am

I realized I haven't posted since May, so thought I'd surface for a little bit.  My autoimmune stuff has been kicking my butt lately, probably because I have been pushing too hard to get stuff done.  And the spring head cold, which was brutal.  And now I'm going through caffeine withdrawal, day 2, so you can imagine I'm not thrilled with life.  But I am trying to keep a postive attitude.

DH and I got the rest of the seed potatoes in.  I wish we could put in more, but I'll know better for next year to order more seed potatoes and save more, too.  We planted 15 pounds of ordered seed potatoes and 25 pounds of what we saved.  I think that we need a total of 50 pounds for next year.

We still have to plant the sweet potato slips, but we need to get more soil for that.  The area we want to plant them in is horribly uneven. It's still a bit chilly at night, so we will wait until the weekend to get those planted where warmer nights are forecasted.

We bought a new electric weed eater ($159) that even I can manage.  The battery is compatible with all of our other electric tools.  I can do it for 5 minutes and then I have to sit down, but after resting for 5 minutes I can do another session.  Three is my limit, but it is amazing what you can get done in 15 minutes worth of weedeating a few days in a row.  I've got most of the area cleared for green beans, now we just need to even out the ground and put down the black plastic.

We are growing in buckets, but they will be going up a trellis.  The buckets will have a soaker hose running across them held in by landscape staples.  We are using buckets because there has been an explosion of baby rabbits this year and I don't want them nibbled down like some of them were 2 years ago when we had the same issue.

We still need to put up some fencing to go around the green beans, too, and build 3 strawberry cages.  The strawberries have deer netting on them, but we want something better than that going forward.  Pole beans grow up until the first freeze here which is usually Halloween or the next week, so even though they are getting started later than I like they will still produce a long time.  Hopefully we can get that accomplished this weekend.

I just keep pushing my body as it has been able to do more and more.  I usually can go for 2 days and then have to spend a day doing nothing.  But I am getting stuff done so I feel accomplished.  I still can't use a shovel, though.  Different muscles that cause pain after 30 seconds.  I may never be able to, but at least I can do something.  The power of physical therapy is great.

Camera Purchase

May 22nd, 2022 at 04:03 am

Today I ordered a used Canon Powershot Elph digital camera off Amazon. It's a gorgeous shade of purple and after my last one broke (blue), I told myself if I ever found a purple one, I'd get it.  I do have a handheld video camera that can take photos, but it isn't the best at it.  It takes good video, though.  My phone is a better camera than it.

So I've been waiting and waiting and finally one came up refurbished from the Canon Store on Amazon.  I wasn't going to pay $400 or more for a new one.  It comes with a battery and charger, although I have two batteries and two chargers already so that would have never been a deal breaker.  Now I can take fairly nice photos again on a proper tripod.  I paid $167.98.

I Didn't Think I'd Be Able to Ever Move Again

May 19th, 2022 at 02:06 am

Last night was rough.  I did a lot of new exercises at physical therapy and even though it was in the pool it totally kicked my butt.  45 minutes of non-stop exercise was only possible with the decreased gravity.  By the time I got home everything hurt so bad.  I made it halfway to the house before I had to sit down in the chair at the bottom of the ramp and put the bag down.  It was so heavy with a wet towel and suit in there.  And I forgot my phone so I couldn't call DH to come out and get me.  So I sat there about ten minutes until I could go into the house and send DH out for my bag.  That's how weak I was.

I wasn't able to move my arms enough to make dinner.  They just felt like lead.  It felt like a full on fibro flare with the RA kicking in just for fun.  So we got Mexican.  I had a single tostada de ceviche.  They make it with tiger shrimp and it is really good with lots of tomatoes and onions.  And then I had a rectangle from a chicken quesadilla.  I also got 1 beef enchilada with rice, but I was too exhausted to eat it, so it went in the fridge for today.  I figured I would be able to eat it all since I hadn't eaten all day (yes, bad, I know).  And the rest of the family only ate 1 triangle each of the quesadilla, so there are still two left which I will probably have for lunch tomorrow.  We spent $80 for the four of us.

I took a hot shower after dinner and that helped, but DH had to come wash my hair since I wasn't able to lift my arms above my head.  I still had a good bit of pain going on so I took half a hydrocodone and it knocked me out and when I woke up I felt a lot better.  I can still feel some soreness, but it is just muscle soreness and not fibro.  It hurts to raise my hands above my head, but I can.

The hands still hurt, but they always do after a lot of work.  And not near as much as yesterday as I am typing fairly easily.  I will probably have to avoid that exercise in the future due to how hard it was on my hands.  It was using a mini-kickboard, holding it upright underwater, and pulling it towards me and pushing it away.  It builds the core, but so do a lot of other things, so we'll figure something out.  I have PT again on Friday so we can talk about it then.

I am able to make dinner tonight so we have steaks thawing.  I am going to cook the steaks rare and have green beans, and French fries.  It's a fairly simple dinner.  If my hands were better I'd be making fried potatoes, but French fries will have to do.  I have been making a lot more meals, but yesterday just threw me for a loop.  I will be making a crockpot meal on Friday so that I won't have to worry about making dinner when I get back from PT, it will just be there and ready.  We have beef ribs which work really well with low and slow cooking, so I will just throw them in there with some potatoes and sweet potatoes and then all that will need to be done when I get home is micro-steam a bag of broccoli.

DS and I went out to "shop" the freezer and brought in some steaks and roasts, Canadian bacon, and a pack of hotdogs.  I only had 16 pounds of butter, so I need to do a major stock up.  Last year I bought 60 pounds of butter and 8 of those in there were bought recently, so we went through a pound of butter a week, so I guess I planned pretty well.  I like spring and summer butter when the cows are on green grass and not hay.  I get grass fed butter and there is a world of difference between that and conventional, but also between summer and winter butter.

DS and I need to do an inventory of what is out there and of what is in the mini-chest freezer.  It is easy to see what is in the upright.  I need to see what we need to eat through and how much space we will have in the house and how much we will have in the garage.  I know some of what is in there is crab bait chicken and turkey breast and that will be out of there as soon as the dungeness season starts.  They have freezer burn, so this is a great way of not wasting the meat.  It'll get us through the season and it sure beats buying crab bait, especially at today's prices.

I had regular therapy today and we talked about how I don't like change and how I want to cut my hair and I've wanted to cut it since before the pandemic and things have been open and without masks for quite some time, but I don't do it.  Part of it was my salon went out of business, but something else was affecting me and I knew it.  So she asked if anything from my childhood might be affecting me and I realized that Mom made me get pixie cuts when I was a kid, because she didn't want to deal with the work of longer hair.  I wasn't allowed to choose my own hair cut until I was in the third grade and then I grew it long.

And even though I have had it short at various times in my life it was because I wanted to.  Now it is below my waist and full of damage and i need to get it cut.  And you know what?  My mom keeps saying that I need to get it cut.   Constantly.  And I haven't, because I still resent her very much for forcing me to have a style of hair that I hated for so many years.  Or that one time she made me get a perm.

So, now that I realize the only reason I am not doing it is to spite her, I think I can finally get past this and cut my hair to a couple inches below my shoulders and be done with it.  I've found a salon after much looking, so all I need to do is call tomorrow and schedule an appointment.

It's good for me to be able to realize what this is and get through it.  This is not the only aspect of my life that Mom affects this way, unfortunately.  And all of it relates back to having no bodily auntonomy when I was younger.  So steps were taken today to help me realize this and I feel a lot lighter.

Alright, well I better get to making dinner now that the steaks have sat out for an hour and are at room temp.  Then after dinner I will work in the garden a little.  Instead of getting a whole load of dirt, I've realized that we have a bunch of totes that we were growing in for the last two years that have dirt in them.  I weeded several of them yesterday and I managed to screen all the dirt in one to pull out roots and other things, like the peanuts our crazy squirrel couple bury all over the place.  Two of the peanuts have roots on them, so I put them in a large pot and we will see what becomes of them.

Last year there was one that grew and actually formed some peanuts.  Of course, I didn't know what it was until I'd pulled it out and it didn't take to being replanted and died.  I didn't even know peanuts could grow here, but apparently they can.  And these one's hadn't formed any other nuts on them so they have a better chance.  I'll have to look up their needs to see if they need special care and make sure I planted them at the right depth.

Okay, really going now.

 

 

 

I Wrote the Check

May 17th, 2022 at 07:28 am

Honestly, I thought it was going to hurt writing such a large check.  Nearly $6000 is a lot of money.  But I felt really okay with it.  Having my son's teeth fixed will be worth it. He had his appointment today where they did x-rays, took photos, and did some kind of scan of his teeth with a tool.  On June 20th he will get his full set of Invisaligns.  I didn't know he would get all of them at once, but he will.  You move onto the next set every ten days.  It's different, but seems so much more convenient than traditional braces.

I would, one day, like to get this for myself as my teeth have moved since I had an appliance to fix my bite.  My teeth were always straight and I never had a gap, but over the last ten years or so I've had a gap between my top front teeth that is getting bigger and bigger.  And I have a couple of teeth on the bottom that seem to be pushing forward a bit.  They aren't visible so they don't bother me so much, but I don't like being in photos because of the gap in my front teeth.  So I avoid it.  But I want my kids to have photos of me when I'm gone, so I've thought about fixing them for a while.  But that was back burnered when DS needed to get them.

I feel like I'm always give stuff up for my kids (but mostly my daughter).  Probably because I am.  I guess that is motherhood in a nutshell, though, always sacrificing your own needs or wants for theirs.  And for my mother as well.  I think I am getting caregiver burnout.  I really just want to run away for a while.  I think I need to go down by the water and soak up the negative ions and just let myself read a book for a couple of hours.  It would do me a world of good.

Buying Things on Sale

May 10th, 2022 at 07:58 am

I haven't bought much in the way of clothes since before the pandemic and most of what I've bought since it started was underclothes.  My daughter and I both were sorely in need of some new clothes, me so more than her.  I've been sewing up a lot of seams.  Woman Within has been having a 50% off on most items this week and today was the last day of the sale, so I bit the bullet and bought.

For myself I got 4 tank tops, 1 t-shirt, 1 blouse, 3 shorts with pockets, 1 sundress and 1 short-sleeved dress, and a swimsuit.  I color coordinated the tops with the shorts, plus I have a black pair and a navy pair already that haven't worn out, so those will go with everything, too.  DD got 5 t-shirts (she got tank tops last year and won't wear shorts), 1 dress, and 1 swim top, since her swim bottoms are still okay.  Only her dress and my swimsuit were not on the 50% off sale.  Shipping and handling and taxes brought the total to $644.48.  Without those it was $543.31.  I think we did fairly well for plus size clothing.

The swimsuit I have is fine for going in the hot tub or the ocean when I'm not around people except DH, but I always have to wear a shirt if I'm up close with people in a pool or lake because it's a bit low cut, as most suits with good bra support are, and that cuts down my mobility.  But when you are having physical therapy in a swimming pool, and the male therapist is standing above you on the deck, it makes me uncomfortable.

I finally found a higher scoop neck suit that does not have crisscross straps in the back and still has a built in bra.  I can't put on or take off crisscross straps or suits that fasten behind the neck due to the rheumatoid arthritis in my shoulders.  I've looked for years for a suit like this.  And as I get older I find my modesty has increased, so this will be my public suit and the other will be for private.

It will be nice to have some new dresses.  My favorite dress has faded after so many years of washing, plus it is heavy weight for a sundress.  It also has ties and again, because of my shoulders, I cannot tie behind my back anymore or untie it, either.  So that puts me down to one wearable summer dress in my current size.  I have no winter dresses, although I used to wear the faded one with a turtle neck or sweater and some leggings in the cold season.  And the one is very loosy goosy so it will be easy to wear over my swimsuit and then to put on again after physical therapy.

It was a big spend and I still would like to get two more t-shirts, but I really couldn't find any styles or patterns I liked and I didn't want to get the same pattern on a t-shirt that I have on a tank top.  It would bother my OCD.  A lot.  I am really glad to be getting some new things.  I'm tired of the same four shirts and four tank tops I've had for years.  Now I can interchange them with some fresh new colors and patterns.

I also took DD to the eye doctor to get new glasses and she found some with octagon-shaped frames.  She was okay with the color, but she really liked another color that they come in that they didn't have at the store.  It was too late to get a hold of the manufacturer to see if they had any green ones in stock, but he will call in the moring after he gets a hold of them.  If the don't have the green ones, she will just get the champagne ones.  I really hope they have the green ones.  They are so pretty in comparison.  They put the champagne ones on hold just in case.

The copay for the exam was $10 and the glasses will run $259 after insurance.  I thought they would cost a lot more, so I was happily surprised.

Grocery Store Tracking--Winco Foods

April 28th, 2022 at 02:27 am

So I went to Winco on Sunday and I had a few surprises, but I guess I shouldn't have been since it has been in all the other stores, it just took a long time for the shortages to catch up to Winco.  The wall of deals at the front of the store was missing it's stacks of canned green beans, corn, potatoes, and all beans but black beans, and fruit.  In it's place they had Chef Boyardee and Nally chili and tomato products.  It was shockingly noticeable.  The regular canned good aisle was obviously lacking stock.

On the bright side their was plenty of chicken.  Thighs, legs, wings, breasts, and whole.  It's been a while since I've seen that, especially wings, which have been missing for 18 months.  I still can't find pork sausage though.  And the cost of cheese has gone up 70 cents a bag or brick.  Oh, and I did find 5 pound bags of French fries, for the first time in 18 months, so grabbed two.  I will go back once the freezer is set up and has been running for 24 hours.

Anywho, here's what I bought along with their prices and some analysis.

2 Franz buttermilk breads at $3.98 total

2 5 lb bags Winco fries at $7.96 (She made an error here and only charged me for 1 of the fries)

2 boxes honey nut Chex at $5.16 total

1 box of cinnamon Chex at $2.58

1 sleeve Orowheat crispy Englis Muffins at $2.18

4 packs of Winco CoJack Cheese Sticks

Bananas $2.46

4 Roma tomatoes at $1.01

1 jalapeno at 13 cents

1 2 lb bag shredded CoJack cheese at $6.48

1 bag of party size Tostitos tortilla chips at $3.68

1 bunch cilantro at 48 cents

1 large sweet potato $1.85

4 onions $3.14 (She made an error here and charged me for sweet onions and not yellow onions).

5 lb bag of red potatoes at $2.98 (They didn't have a single bag of yellow potatoes although there was a sign for it).

Red grapes $3.75 for 2.23 pounds

4 containers of chicken thighs at $35.23

Total money out $96.21

There were 10 chicken thighs per container, so I divided that up into 5 bags of 8 pieces, which is what our family eats at a meal.  It works out to $7.05 per meal of chicken.  I used to be able to get chicken thighs for .99/lb, but the new normal at Winco is $1.59/lb for the same meat.  Legs were cheaper at $1.29/lb, breasts were $1.99/lb, whole chickens were $1.19/lb  and wings were $3.48 per pound.

I came out ahead on the cashier's errors, but I didn't even see them until today when I was going over the receipt.  Winco's policy is that if the cashier makes a mistake in your favor you get to keep it and if they make a mistake in their favor they'll correct it.  It might even be you get the item free, but I can't remember.  But since I came out ahead, I won't bother going back about it.

The Cost of Orthodontia

April 26th, 2022 at 05:52 am

Today I took DS to his consultation with the orthodontist.  As the people here on the blogs told me, it will be around $6000, the amount I saved.  If we didn't pay up front the cost would be $6180, but since we are we get a 5% discount.  That is $309 off.  So our total is $5871.  Which means I have $129 to figure out what to do with.  He will be doing Invisalign, but the cost of regular braces was only $200 cheaper and I don't think he would tolerate them well, due to having a tender mouth.

Randomly, dinner tonight was delicous.  We had baked chicken that I rubbed with olive oil, salt pepper, and sazon seasoning.  Then we had herbed mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli.  Simple but full of flavor and one of my favorite meals.

Done with the Deductible

April 18th, 2022 at 08:11 am

Well, I've maxed out the deductible for the family this year with my therapy, both physcial and mental.  We still have the out of pocket max to hit, but we no longer have to pay for the full amount of doctor's appointments or prescriptions, just the co-insurance part.  That takes some strain off the budget.  We also have used all of our FSA debit card for the year.

I had my first pool therapy session early last week.  All of the other appointments were on land to stengthen my core, legs, and back enough to be able to climb down the stairs and into the pool.  It went okay, but I had strained a muscle in my thigh gardening the day before it so I was a little sore.  I walked on the underwater treadmill for 12 minutes, which is really weird because you bounce between steps.  Then he had me walk across the pool sideways, which bugged that muscle in the one direction, but not the other.  Then I had to walk backwards and then do toe raises and then step up on a step and back down.  Then we did some arm exercises with floaty weights, while keeping the core engaged.

It went really well.  The hardest part was getting out fo the water and getting gravity back.  Being in the pool took a lot of pressure off the herniated discs.  Getting back out put it all back on.  It also made me realize that my legs are still weak and I have a lot of work ahead of me.  I see the neurology surgeon on the 24th, I think and we will decide from there what to do about more PT.  I think I need it as I finally started progressing forward.  I have one more session scheduled for now.

Then I had a hypomanic event.  I hate hypomanic events.  This time it went so high I nearly touched the sky.  And more to the point, I spent $300, because my judgment went out the window.  I mean, I had the money in my allowance envelope, but I was saving up for a Smart TV and then a new laptop, because I hate not having a touch screen.  It lasted 2 days and then I went crashing down into a depression well.  That was not a lot of fun.  I seem to have pulled out of it this morning, and being outside working in the garden helped a lot, but I had a miserable night of it, crying for 2 hours straight after everyone else went to bed.

I hate mental illness.  I thought I was finally starting to feel the effects of the new dosage of this medication, but maybe not.  This was the first time this happened since I started it, but at least it wasn't full blown mania.  The last time that happened it lasted 2.5 months and I wrote 400,000 words.

I graduate from the six month mental health program at my doctor's clinic on Tuesday.  I don't want to.  It will be my last day with that therapist.  I have started with another, and she's okay, I guess.  I like her, but her nose ring is distracting.  It's weird seeing a 60 year old lady with a nose ring.  I wish these visits could be in person.  Then I'd have somewhere else to look instead of just at her face on my laptop.  Anyway, now I have to build up trust in a new therapist.  She deals with people with chronic illnesses, so that is good.

I've also been referred to a psychiatrist to see if we can manage this a little bit better with medication.  It would be nice.  Plus, only he can diagnose whether or not I have ADHD, but I know I do.  I haven't heard anything from his office yet, though.  He is my son's psychiatrist and I've sat in on a session with my son and liked him well enough, I guess.

Well, I best be off to bed.  It's already midnight.  I have an appointment at 11:30 online, which means I have to wake up two hours before that to give my muscles enough time to warm up so I can even get out of bed, do my physical therapy exercises, and eat breakfast.  RA is a b-word and I am a night owl, so this won't be fun, but it must be done.  At least I'm not in a fibro flare.  And my mood continues to stablize so I might even get something out of this session.

Blogoversary...And This is How the Money Goes

April 11th, 2022 at 02:15 am

It's my 16 year blogoversary here.  I can't believe I have been here this long.

I splurged a couple of days ago and bought the complete 15 season set of Supernatural.  I had watched it all along up until halfway through season 12 and just finished up watching the rest of it a couple of weeks ago.  I was waiting for a price drop to purchase it and when Honey informed me it had dropped, I snatched it up.  I do like that app, even if it gets in the way sometimes.  I paid $170 for it.  I can't even get X-Files for that price, but it's on my droplist, too.  I used the money I've been saving in my allowance folder.

Anyway, I've started watching Supernatural over again from the beginning.  It started airing a long time ago, and even though I have watched every episode, I don't remember a lot of it.  I'm not letting myself binge watch it, though.  Just one episode a night.  I've got too much to do right now with the garden.

I also bought some protein sticks off of Amazon.  I don't remember what they cost, but some of them are paleo and some of them are keto and all of them are no sugar.  It gives me something to grab in the morning when I first get up so I can take my pills without getting nauseated.  Then after a bit, I can make a proper meal.  I got some beef and some turkey.  I think it was around $40, but I got a lot of them.

I paid around $800 in medical bills today.  All but $658 was on the FSA debit card, which leaves about $5 left on it.  So we've gone through the $3000 we pay throughout the year pretax already.  Lots of medical bills and counseling bills, imaging bills, x-rays, plus physical therapy.  We've met the family deductible, but not the out of pocket max.  But now our medical visits will drop down to around $40 instead of $253 and the counseling will be lower.

As for the $658, that came out of my medical fund that I've been socking money to left and right.  There is enough left in there to pay for DH's upcoming crown and DD's eye exam and a new pair of glasses and of course I will continue to contribute to it.  DH is going to find out how much the COBRA for DD is going to cost so I know how much I need to be saving for it each month.  Plus we need to start saving up for next year's out of pocket max and of course prescriptions until we hit this year's out of pocket max.

I still have hope that the endocrinologist will file a report with the insurance company that she is completely dependent on her meds and that she is fully disabled.  Also the neurologist because of the passing out that leads to dibilitating migraines.  She is so bad off that her doctor recommended she go on disability, but if we can keep her on our insurance that would be so much better.  If she can get both, that would be ideal because then she could contribute to her own medical expenses.

She will be seeing an internal medicine doctor who deals with multiple diseases in May.  There's a possibility there, too.  I'd really like to get her tested for Elhers-Danlos syndrome, which requires genetic testing as soon as possible.  Also, I'm hoping she can recommend a better ENT because her daily nose bleeds are getting so bad and are coming from way up in her sinus cavity, but no tumors have shown up in there on scans.  There has got to be something that can be done.

Yesterday was so bad she had to go to the sink and lean over it because she couldn't keep up with the tissues.  I saw the amount of blood and it looked like a half a cup.  Plus she'd had one earlier that morning.  Maybe if they could cauterize something it would help.  Anyway, I made her drink an electrolyte heavy solution because she got really woozy by the time we got it stopped.  The ENT we saw before was useless.

It's going to be a bumpy ride the next few months.

Grocery Spending Tracking with Commentary

April 7th, 2022 at 11:23 pm

I haven't done one of these in a while, but I think I did pretty well.  The sales at Fred Meyer were pretty fantastic, though.  I walked out of the store with six bags of groceries for $212.  It was a little less than that but they have program where you can donate the change to the local food bank, so I always choose that option there.  They say it really, really adds up, because most people don't want to deal with coins.

6 bottles of Miracle Whip at $3.99 each if you bought six.  This will give DH enough for 6 months.  Since it has gone up to almost $7 a jar, this was something I was not going to pass up.

4 containers of onions and chives whipped cream cheese for $3.99 each.  It's less than the new normal price, but more than it used to be by 50 cents.  However, there is a shortage on cream cheese, and my kids like it on their bagels, so I stocked up a bit.

I got a 15 pack of large tortillas for making breakfast burritos.  I wanted to get the large double pack that has 20 each, but they didn't have it.  I was four short for the number of burritos I want to make.  Not the best price either, but I'll have to go to Costco for that when I get more.  They were $6.49. It might be time to start making my own tortillas sice I do have a press now, which will be much easier than rolling them out.

2 bags of Dave's Killer Bagels at $5.99 each. Not on sale, but not bad.  These are softer than typical bagels and the kids like them a lot.  DD has problems with harder bagels.  This might also be something I need to start making myself. It can't be any harder than making soft pretzels.

2 bags of Simply Cheetos, the crunchy ones. Talk about shrinkflation.  The bags are half the size and they don't weigh as much.  They were on sale, though, at $3.49 per bag.

2 packs beef sausage (Paleo) at $4.49 each.  These were on sale and are for meal prepping.

2 packs polish sausage (Paleo) at $5.49 each.  Also on sale, and also for meal prepping.

2 packages of mild Italian sausage at $7.19 each.  These have gotten so expensive, it might be time for me to go back to making my own sausage from ground chicken, turkey, or pork.  These are used in making the breakfast burriots for meal planning.

1 Cook's picnic ham at .79/lb.  It came to $5.68.  I would have bought more but there was a limit of one.

Chuck roasts were on sale for $3.99 a pound so I bought two.  $13.66 and $14.29.  We have run out of pot roasts from our beef.  Again, I would have picked up more, but I like the flat ones and I like them to be at least 3 pounds.  They mostly had the tall ones, which tend to be a little chewy, even when pressure cooked.

Red grapes were on sale for $1.48/lb.  I spent $2.31.  They are very good, too.  Sometimes that is a crapshoot at this time of year.

1 bag of spinach at $1.99.

1 chub of turkey breast $9.09

1 chub of turkey ham $7.30

Fresh green beans.  I got 1.5 pounds for $2.69.  This is for meal planning lunches.

2 packs of blueberries on sale for $3.99 each.  These also were very good.  This is also a crapshoot at this time of year.

1 box of kiwis on sale for $4.  This was a tremendously good sale and it was a good sized box.

1 small red onion $1.03.  Ouch, these are getting so expensive.  Probably should have bought the non-sale produce at Winco.

2 red bell peppers for $3, for lunch meal prepping.

1 head of iceberg lettuce $1.99  It's been $2.99 for a while now, and the leaf lettuces were tiny, so it was the best bang for my buck.

1 green bell pepper for 99 cents for lunch meal prepping.

3 large yellow onions for $1.91.  Double ouch.

2 green zucchinis for $1.39/lb totalling $1.81.

1 bunch organic bananas at .69/lb.  At least some things haven't changed.  I paid $2.18 for the bunch.  The regular ones were .59/lb, but were pretty green.

I bought 2 large crowns of broccol for $1.39/lb totalling $2.21.

1 small bok choy at $1.99/lb totally $1.71.

1 head of green cabbage at .89/lb (up about 20 cents from a year ago, but still cheaper than what it is now not on sale).  I spent $2.51.

2 yellow summer squash at $1.39/lb and spent $1.31.

1 head cauliflower at $1.39/lb and spent $3.39.

 2 English cucumbers at 2/$4.  The regular ones were cheaper but really small and kind of beat up so I went for these.

6 paper bags at 48 cents.  We are still not used to bringing our own bags again.  This was a small expense that did not need to happen.  I need to get back in the habit, now that our own bags are allowed again.

So I saved $67.24 according to the receipt, which is pretty darn good for six full bags of food.  The total was $211.27 with 73 cents of change going to the food bank.

I could not find French fries, but their is potato shortage nationwide, so these have been pretty hit and miss.  That's why we are planting more potatoes this year than last.

I also bought 25 pounds of hard white wheat this week on Amazon.  There was a $3 off coupon, so I got it for $56.

So all in all this week, I did pretty well.  I still have to go to Winco for cheese and to see if the have French fries, but will do that on the way back from the chiropractor to save gas.

I'm debating a Costco run, too, for more tortillas for next week, some frozen broccoli, a rotisserie chicken, some seasoned potatoes, some chicken spinach ravioli, and some tomato sauce.  Maybe on Friday.  Or I can have DH pick it up on his way home from work.  Costco can be a lot as it is huge and I can only walk so long without it starting to really hurt my herniated discs and there aren't always ride on carts available.  I might put it off until next payday, except the rotisserie chicken.

We'll be meal prepping a lot, so we can have consistent portion sizes for breakfast and lunch, and for weight loss, so that DS and I only have to cook all that up for a week and then only have to worry about dinners for the rest of the week, which DS helps me with most nights.

Hopefully, I can put together a full meal plan as I know some of you like to see that as well as the grocery tracking.

Grocery Shopping Tracker with Commetary

April 7th, 2022 at 11:02 pm

I haven't done one of these in a while, but I think I did pretty well.  The sales at Fred Meyer were pretty fantastic, though.  I walked out of the store with six bags of groceries for $212.  It was a little less than that but they have program where you can donate the change to the local food bank, so I always choose that option there.  They say it really, really adds up, because most people don't want to deal with coins.

6 bottles of Miracle Whip at $3.99 each if you bought six.  This will give DH enough for 6 months.  Since it has gone up to almost $7 a jar, this was something I was not going to pass up.

4 containers of onions and chives whipped cream cheese for $3.99 each.  It's less than the new normal price, but more than it used to be by 50 cents.  However, there is a shortage on cream cheese, and my kids like it on their bagels, so I stocked up a bit.

I got a 15 pack of large tortillas for making breakfast burritos.  I wanted to get the large double pack that has 20 each, but they didn't have it.  I was four short for the number of burritos I want to make.  Not the best price either, but I'll have to go to Costco for that when I get more.  They were $6.49. It might be time to start making my own tortillas sice I do have a press now, which will be much easier than rolling them out.

2 bags of Dave's Killer Bagels at $5.99 each. Not on sale, but not bad.  These are softer than typical bagels and the kids like them a lot.  DD has problems with harder bagels.  This might also be something I need to start making myself. It can't be any harder than making soft pretzels.

2 bags of Simply Cheetos, the crunchy ones. Talk about shrinkflation.  The bags are half the size and they don't weigh as much.  They were on sale, though, at $3.49 per bag.

2 packs beef sausage (Paleo) at $4.49 each.  These were on sale and are for meal prepping.

2 packs polish sausage (Paleo) at $5.49 each.  Also on sale, and also for meal prepping.

2 packages of mild Italian sausage at $7.19 each.  These have gotten so expensive, it might be time for me to go back to making my own sausage from ground chicken, turkey, or pork.  These are used in making the breakfast burriots for meal planning.

1 Cook's picnic ham at .79/lb.  It came to $5.68.  I would have bought more but there was a limit of one.

Chuck roasts were on sale for $3.99 a pound so I bought two.  $13.66 and $14.29.  We have run out of pot roasts from our beef.  Again, I would have picked up more, but I like the flat ones and I like them to be at least 3 pounds.  They mostly had the tall ones, which tend to be a little chewy, even when pressure cooked.

Red grapes were on sale for $1.48/lb.  I spent $2.31.  They are very good, too.  Sometimes that is a crapshoot at this time of year.

1 bag of spinach at $1.99.

1 chub of turkey breast $9.09

1 chub of turkey ham $7.30

Fresh green beans.  I got 1.5 pounds for $2.69.  This is for meal planning lunches.

2 packs of blueberries on sale for $3.99 each.  These also were very good.  This is also a crapshoot at this time of year.

1 box of kiwis on sale for $4.  This was a tremendously good sale and it was a good sized box.

1 small red onion $1.03.  Ouch, these are getting so expensive.  Probably should have bought the non-sale produce at Winco.

2 red bell peppers for $3, for lunch meal prepping.

1 head of iceberg lettuce $1.99  It's been $2.99 for a while now, and the leaf lettuces were tiny, so it was the best bang for my buck.

1 green bell pepper for 99 cents for lunch meal prepping.

3 large yellow onions for $1.91.  Double ouch.

2 green zucchinis for $1.39/lb totalling $1.81.

1 bunch organic bananas at .69/lb.  At least some things haven't changed.  I paid $2.18 for the bunch.  The regular ones were .59/lb, but were pretty green.

I bought 2 large crowns of broccol for $1.39/lb totalling $2.21.

1 small bok choy at $1.99/lb totally $1.71.

1 head of green cabbage at .89/lb (up about 20 cents from a year ago, but still cheaper than what it is now not on sale).  I spent $2.51.

2 yellow summer squash at $1.39/lb and spent $1.31.

1 head cauliflower at $1.39/lb and spent $3.39.

 2 English cucumbers at 2/$4.  The regular ones were cheaper but really small and kind of beat up so I went for these.

6 paper bags at 48 cents.  We are still not used to bringing our own bags again.  This was a small expense that did not need to happen.  I need to get back in the habit, now that our own bags are allowed again.

So I saved $67.24 according to the receipt, which is pretty darn good for six full bags of food.  The total was $211.27 with 73 cents of change going to the food bank.

I could not find French fries, but their is potato shortage nationwide, so these have been pretty hit and miss.  That's why we are planting more potatoes this year than last.

I also bought 25 pounds of hard white wheat this week on Amazon.  There was a $3 off coupon, so I got it for $56.

So all in all this week, I did pretty well.  I still have to go to Winco for cheese and to see if the have French fries, but will do that on the way back from the chiropractor to save gas.

I'm debating a Costco run, too, for more tortillas for next week, some frozen broccoli, a rotisserie chicken, some seasoned potatoes, some chicken spinach ravioli, and some tomato sauce.  Maybe on Friday.  Or I can have DH pick it up on his way home from work.  Costco can be a lot as it is huge and I can only walk so long without it starting to really hurt my herniated discs and there aren't always ride on carts available.  I might put it off until next payday, except the rotisserie chicken.

We'll be meal prepping a lot, so we can have consistent portion sizes for breakfast and lunch, and for weight loss, so that DS and I only have to cook all that up for a week and then only have to worry about dinners for the rest of the week, which DS helps me with most nights.

Hopefully, I can put together a full meal plan as I know some of you like to see that as well as the grocery tracking.

 

 

Payday Report

April 2nd, 2022 at 10:51 pm

This paycheck had a lot of OT on it and my AdSense payment.  This is also a three paycheck month and things are a bit different than usual.  This will be the second paycheck with the higher grocery budget, which went nicely last time with $37 left over to go into the meat fund.  I doubled the medical fund contribution for this check since DH is getting a crown done this month.  We are also helping my mom with property tax, so that came out of this payday as well.  As a reminder, I run a zero dollar based budget, where every single dollar is assigned a job.

$413.51 Tithe

_500.00 Utilities

_500.00 Grocery Envelope

1000.00 Medical Fund

__75.00 Household Envelope

__17.15 Box of Checks (a rare purchase these days)

_122.23 Internet

__70.00 Garbage Temp Fund

_167.00 Car Insurance Temp Fund

_100.00 Car Maintenance Envelope

__50.00 DH Spending Money

__50.00 My Spending Money

__60.00 DS Allowance

__30.00 DD Stipend

_310.00 Monthly Chiropractor Family Plan

_420.24 Citi

_250.00 Mom's Property Tax

-------------------

4135.13 Total Money Out

Payday Report for 2/18/2022

February 19th, 2022 at 01:27 am

Well, we can start right off with saying that my no eating out for February has been an absymal failure.  I just cannot seem to stay well.  I'll get a day or two where I think I'm on the upswing and then I'm right back down again, exhausted and back in bed and unable to do anything about cooking meals at all.  DH does a couple a week right now, but he's up to his eyeballs in overtime, so otherwise it's takeout as no one is well except DH and he's dragging.  It's a good thing he can work from home.  so takeout it's been.

I just want to be well so that I can cook my own food again.  So that is why the Citi card is so high again.  It feels out of control, but we still pay it off in full every month.  It kind of makes me sick all on its own, because it is so high.  But some of that was birthday stuff that is being reimbursed by MIL, since it was for what she got me.  Then she gives us $120 a month for takeout because that is how much she spends on DH's sister and husband each month.

I just added that in and then I figured out when exactly the long term care insurance started coming out of the account and it wasn't until the first of the year, even though I'd been deducting it from checking since June when it was supposed to start coming out, so I put that money back as available to use.  Then there was a refund from last year's HSA of $1.43, so those amounts added up to  $662.40.

I added that to the budget, but the tithe will only reflect the amount of the actual paycheck, which I don't think had any overtime on it, but will have to check with DH for sure.  The next one definitely will.  This one would have but he kept having to take time off to run us to doctor's appointments or be sick himself for a couple of days.  Anyway, as a reminder I run a $0 based budget, where every penny is assigned a job.  Here is what I spent.

$301.63 Tithe

_400.00 Grocery Envelope

_500.00 Medical Fund

__75.00 Household Envelope

_100.00 Gas Money Envelope

_1974.06 Citi

__78.82 Life Insurance DH

__60.46 Life Insurance Me

___0.00 Spending Money Envelope DH (he already spent it in January)

__50.00 Spending Money Envelope Me

__60.00 Allowance DS

__30.00 Stipend DD

------------------

3678.68 Total Money Out

 

Payday Report

February 5th, 2022 at 11:15 pm

There was a ton of overtime this payday.  I think DH said he worked 19 hours, so there's a lot more money than usual.  We had an out of the norm expense with mom asking us to help her pay for home owner's insurance.  I'll create a sinking fund for next year, of $34 a month, so it won't be a surprise unless it goes up. 

We spent far too much money last month on take out due to the flu hitting us hard.  As a result we are doing a no eating out challenge for February.  We really need to cut out using that Citi card so much.  Next payday will also have a sizeable payment to them.  DH doesn't get any spending money this payday or next as he made a $100 purchase on the Citi card.

As a reminder, I use a $0 based budget, meaning every dollar has an assignment, so here's how things went down for this paycheck.

$415.03 Tithe

_500.00 Utilities

_400.00 Grocery Envelope

_500.00 Medical Fund

__75.00 Household

_122.23 Internet

__70.00 Garbage

_167.00 Car Insurance Sinking Fund

__50.00 My Spending Money

___0.00 DH Spending Money

__60.00 DS Allowance

__30.00 DD Stipend

_400.00 House Insurance

_310.49 Emergency Fund

_950.54 Citi

_100.00 Gift Fund

-------------------

$4,150.29 Total Money Out

Payday Report for 1/21/22

January 22nd, 2022 at 04:06 am

DH had some overtime on this paycheck, so I still don't know what a normal paycheck is with the new rate.  And since he will get overtime on the next paycheck as well, I don't now when we'll know.  Hopefully the overtime will help us pull ahead and we will be very careful with our spending.

We also had a FSA reimbursement check for last year come through, so that is added in.  There will be some more of those coming, upwards of $500.  I went ahead and dumped that into the medical fund.  I also had $7.68 sitting in checking that I had meant to send to the EF last payday and forgot to do so that went with the rest of the payment to the EF.

$353.35 Tithe

_400.00 Grocery Envelope

_619.00 Medical Fund

__75.00 Household Envelope

_100.00 Car Maintenance

_800.00 Citi

_310.00 Monthly Chiropractor Family Plan

__78.82 Life Insurance DH

__60.46 Life Insurance Me

__48.71 Long Term Care Insurance

__50.00 DH Spending Money

__50.00 My Spending Money

_528.46 Emergency Fund

_100.00 Gift Fund

__56.21 DS Allowance

__30.00 DD Stipend

 

Payday Report for 1/7/22

January 8th, 2022 at 03:07 am

As a reminder, I run a zero based budget, which means every dollar is accounted for within the budget.  Garbage is higher than the usual because we put out two extra cans in December.

DS does not get an allowance this payday, because he still owes me money from not having quite enough money from everyone to buy the one thing he wanted, so I loaned it to him.  DS will get some allowance next payday, but I am not sure if it will be the full amount.  I've got the number written down.  DD's amount is slightly less than $30 because she still owed me a bit for the same reason.  Her normal allowance will resume next payday.

I have started the Gift Fund up again as we have one birthday in February (mine) and two in March (DS and MIL).  I will continue it through until we have enough for the August birthdays (DH and DD) and Christmas.  Below is the actual budget.

$352.57 Tithe

_500.00 Utilities

_400.00 Grocery Envelope

_500.00 Medical Fund

__75.00 Household Envelope

_769.09 Citi

_118.18 Comcast

__70.00 Garbage Fund

_167.00 Car Insurance Fund

__50.00 DH Allowance

__50.00 My Allowance

__28.51 DD's Allowance

_100.00 Gift Fund

_345.29 Emergency Fund

---------------

$3525.74 Total Money Out

Holiday Gear Up is Going Well

December 13th, 2021 at 11:55 pm

The last of our Christmas presents have arrived from Amazon, so no more Christmas shopping to worry about.  Now I just have to get our wrapping paper from the storage unit and get everything wrapped and that portion of the holiday is taken care of.  I have been working down our Christmas paper supply for the last few years.  We used to have two big containers of paper and now we are down to one that is about 3/4 full.  I haven't bought paper in about five years now.  I just want to use up all or most of the old stuff before buying more.  It is expensive.  Plus is we ever don't have enough, MIL has tons and tons of paper that is open to everyone in the family to use.

We finished putting up our front yard lights and decorations last night.  It took about 4 weekend days between rain and hail flurries, but it looks amazing.  Everyone keeps slowing down to look at our house, which isn't a bad thing since people tend to speed down our road.

Our elk is malfunctioning, so if we can get that working we will stick it up front, but it may take more work than anyone is willing to do until next week.  We have to take it apart and then check all the light bulbs in the back half to see which one is out and then see if we can fix the antlers and ears so they will stay in place, which may require a soldering iron, which we don't have, but a small one is not that expensive.  I am still hoping we can figure it out with zipties.  If we can get it working we will just pop it up front and pound in a t-post to secure it to.  All of our lawn ornaments get secured to t-posts because of the amount of wind we get this time of year.  They are too unweildy and will fall over, otherwise.

Either way we did the gutters and porch, including the columns with multi colored lights and then the deck rail is done with blue icicle lights.  One side of the deck has the back of the porch swing facing the road and on it we have mounted a star of Bethlehem with angels on either side slightly lower facing it, blowing horns.  Then on the bannister rails there is a giant red lit bow.  We can't do much else there because of the rose bushes.  On the two porch columns we have a Santa face and a red cardinal.  On the other side of the deck on the rail we have a polar bear with a multi-colored ball and then on the bannister rails are candy canes alternating three red, three green, three red, and three green.  Blue icicle lights drape the rail that goes down the front steps.

In the yard we have wrapped bushes.  We have one yellow, one green, one purple, one blue, and one multi-colored.  We have a couple more bushes we could wrap, but not enough extension cords, I don't think.  Our lawn ornaments are a 3 foot tall lit Christmas oranament, a 3 foot tall lit snow man with a blue cap and red scarf, and a five foot tall Victorian lamp post.  I'm pretty sure you can see the snow man from space, it is so bright.  Everything is on timers so we don't have to worry about turning it off and so it will be out in time to not disturb the neighbors' sleep.

The only things we couldn't do are the peaks of the house.  I have a tool coming for that, but it is for next year.  We have enough lights to do the back porch and handicapped ramp, which would be just for us, not for the enjoyment of others.  That is the way we go in and out of the house and with it getting so dark these days and the back porch light being so dim and currently unaccessible to put in a better bulb, this would be helpful at least until it is light until five again or we clean off the back porch.

The next big task is to put up the Christmas tree and decorate it.  It will look so pretty in the picture window and add to the ambiance of the yard for anyone passing by.  We are digging our own ornaments out of storage this year instead of using Mom's.  We will be using the green tree and not the white one this year, since the green is pre-lit and fast assembly with two pieces and the white one is the kind where you have to put all the individual branches into place.

We don't do real trees due to allergies and the mess and I'm a little put off by cutting down a tree only to throw it away.  When we lived in the mountains and had a wood stove, that was different, because we would end up using the tree to heat our home once it had dried out and the ashes would then go into the compost for the garden.  We don't have that anymore, so I would feel like I'd be wasting a perfectly good tree for a couple weeks of pretty.  It's my mentality to be able to find multiple purposes for things.  Reuse, recycle, or repurpose.

After the tree is up and decorated and the presents are wrapped then I feel like we can just sit back and enjoy the holidays.  I think our only ritual left is to go around and look at all the Christmas lights before the 22nd as a lot of people don't have their lights on if they go away for the holidays so waiting until Christmas or Christmas Eve, you may miss quite a few and going the 26th or after a lot of people have already shut off their lights.

I am thinking about making cookies this year.  I want to try making these chocolate peanut butter balls.  I think they are called Buckeyes.  But I want to try making them gluten free.  If I can find candy wax.  They are basically Reese's peanut butter cups in ball form.  Since I can't eat those anymore due to the chemcial BHTQ (I think that's the one), I'd love to have something similar.  And there is a gluten free sugar cookie with royal icing recipe I'd also like to try.  If I have the stamina, I'm thinking of making rughelach, too, but not gluten free.  I saw one with cinnamon sugar and pecans for the filling and since DD doesn't like pecans, there is no point in making that one gluten free.

I'd also like to try my hand at making challah bread sometime soon, just because I love the look of braided breads, again, not gluten free.  Don't know if that will be for the holidays or not.  I've just always wanted to try it.

Last week was a busy week of appointments and this week is, too.  I've got physical therapy, regular therapy, and DD has a telemed I have to be there for.  At least last week I got to meet up with my eldest sister.  We went to Shari's and we had soup and I had orange juice and she had a strawberry milkshake.  I picked up the tab, since I know she doesn't make a lot of money.  She did find a new job where she doesn't have to get vaccinated, but it isn't making any more than she was making at the old job.  We talked for a couple of hours.  It was dead in the restaurant so we weren't keeping a table occupied and I left the waitress a $12 tip on an $18 bill, so don't feel bad about taking it up that way, either.  She kept us pretty well supplied with water after we finished eating.

My eldest sister is a little further into conspiracy theories than I am comfortable with, especially regarding the Covid vaccines.  I understand the medical reasons people may not want to get it, and I don't think it should be mandated, and of course I wish there were longer trials, but I don't believe it contains a tracker or is population control, that's crazy talk.  They have the ability to be tracking us all day anyway through facial recongition software, our online activities, our phones, and maybe even our credit card Rfid chips if they want to, so what would be the point of injecting anything?  The tech isn't even there.  Probably.

So, mostly I would stear the conversation away from that if she veered that way, because we are trying to build a relationship and that doesn't work very well when one of us starts talking cuckoo bananas.  I guess her daughter is even further into the conspiracy theory stuff than she is.  I haven't seen my neice in a couple of years because of Covid.  I guess when you spend two years locked down at home, on the internet, you can only go one of two ways.  My other sister is even worse and that's one of the reasons we went no contact, because she got super offended that I didn't believe her crazy talk and I wanted her kid vaxxed if he was going to keep living with us.  She didn't want him living with her, but wanted to dictate how he lived with us.  He's living with my eldest sister now and still hasn't gotten a job.  She's starting to see what we were talking about.

I just don't get being perfectly able-bodied and 30 years old and not working.  Not learning to drive.  Not being self-sufficient.  Just leeching off of family.  I'm not sure how he'll find a job now without being vaccinated.  Not that he wants to.  Eventually his savings will run out.  Eventually my eldest sister's patience will run out.  I guess then we will drive him back to his parents and dump him there.  He should ultimately be their problem if anyone's.  Or one of his brothers.  Oh, well.  It's not my problem anymore.

 

Payday Report for 12/10/2021

December 12th, 2021 at 04:46 am

As per usual reminder, I run a zero based budget, which means I assign every single penny of each paycheck a function.  While I do keep a cushion in my account I act like it doesn't exist.  For this payday, neither kid gets an allowance as they borrowed against it to add to all of their combined Christmas money from various sources so they could buy one expensive item each while it was on sale on Cyber Monday.

Additionally, I added an extra $50 in gas money this week, when we usually only do $100 on the second payday of each month.  This is to make up for various upcoming trips to MIL's house for Christmas and to help decorate her place with lights and a couple of trips to storage to get our own lawn ornaments and lights out.

Otherwise it is business as usual.  Except I finally had some money to put in the Emegency Fund in the triple digits.

$277.28 Tithe

_500.00 Utilities

_400.00 Grocery Envelope

_500.00 Medical Fund

__75.00 Household Envelope

_310.00 Monthly Family Chriropractic Plan

_118.18 Internet

__45.00 Garbage Fund

_167.00 Car Insurance Fund

__50.00 Spending Money DH

__50.00 Spending Money Me

__50.00 Gas Money (Extra)

_230.30 Emergency Fund

---------------

2772.76 Total Money Out

Payday Report for 11/26/2021

November 30th, 2021 at 02:45 am

As a reminder I run a zero based budget, meaning every dollar from every paycheck is accounted for.  I do keep a $1000 cushion in the checking account in case mistakes are made along the way, but so far there haven't been any since I switched to budgeting this way.

There are no allowances for the kids until sometime in January as they wanted things that were over the Christmas budget we set for them.  But we did allow them both advances on their allowances so they'd have something to open on Christmas and could take advantage of cyber sales.  I still haven't figured out what DH and I are getting for Christmas, but we get $100 each.

$277.27 Tithe

_400.00 Grocery Envelope

__75.00 Household Envelope

_100.00 Gas Money

1532.49 Citi

__78.82 Life Insurance DH

__60.46 Life Insurance Me

__48.71 Long Term Care Insurance (State requirement)

__50.00 Spending Money DH

__50.00 Spending Money Me

_100.00 Car Maintenance Envelope

---------------------

$2772.75 Total Money Out

We also had an expenses reimbursement check for $494.19 from when DH flew up to Alaska that we finally got this week.  Should have had it ages ago, but DH kept forgetting to put in for it.  We put that on the Citi card as well and had $23.69 left to put in the Emergency Fund.

The Citi card is paid off in full and I am well enough now and recovered enough from my fall to be cooking again, so we won't be charging it up so badly from now on, at least so long as I stay on this healing path.

Payday Report for 11/12/21

November 13th, 2021 at 11:16 pm

The actual amount set aside for car insurance money each month is $167, but I had $36.00 in savings set aside for garbage since garbage is a bill that comes due every 2 months.  Instead of transferring $167 into savings and then $36 out, I just put $131 in and used the $36 that was then already in savings towards the car insurance fund.

I have changed the amount of money I am setting aside every month to $45.  Garbage collection has gone up.  Not as much it appears, but when nephew moved out he left a lot of garbage behind.  We had to get set out cans every week for a month instead of every 2 weeks.  We ended up bagging up 4 more bags of it and taking it to his new apartment so he can throw it in the dumpster.  I shouldn't have to pay extra for his trash when he has a way of disposing of it that is included in his rent.

At least it won't happen again since he is gone.  But without extra cans the bill is now in the $82 range instead of the $72 range due to the rise.  So I am putting aside $45 a month so I will have $90 with a little extra as buffer in case we do an extra can for our own as sometimes happens.  Extra cans are $12 plus additional taxes.  We only tend to have an extra can once in a 2 month cycle.  The room nephew lived in is still a mess and he left a lot of his clothes in the closet that he will need to come and clean out.  My sister did not raise a man, she raised an irresponsible little boy, who doens't clean, doesn't cook, and doesn't know how to get by in life. 

My sister always figured he'd have a wife for that, but I don't know too many women in this day and age who are interested in playing Mommy to a grown man.  I guess that is the difference in generations though.  My sister, well, both my sisters are so much older than me they are boomers, and I am generation X.  And my middle sister definitely has that women do everything mentality, cook, clean, bank, and work, while the men rest and relax in their off hours.  Only nephew only had off hours while living here.

Anyway, that went off on a tangent.  Here is the payday report.  Remember I operate on a zero based budget where every dollar is allocated for.

$277.26 Tithe

_500.00 Utilities

_400.00 Grocery Envelope

_500.00 Medical Fund

__75.00 Household Envelope

_310.00 Monthly Family Chiropractic Plan

_118.18 Internet

_107.68 Garbage (Every 2 months

_131.00 Car Insurance Fund

__50.00 DH Spending Money

__50.00 My Spending Money

__60.00 DS's Allowance

__30.00 DD's Allowance

_163.51 Citi

-------------------------

$2772.63 Total Money Out

The actual amount set aside for car insurance money each month is $167, but I had $36.00 in savings set aside for it since garbage is a bill that comes due every 2 months.  Instead of transferring $167 into savings and then $36 out, I just put $131 in and used the $36 that was then already in checking.

I have changed the amount of money I am setting aside every month to $45.  Garbage collection has gone up.  Not as much it appears, but when nephew moved out he left a lot of garbage behind.  We had to get set out cans every week for a month instead of every 2 weeks.  We ended up bagging up more of it and taking it to his new apartment so he can throw it in the dumpster.  I shouldn't have to pay extra for his trash.  At least it won't happen again since he is gone.  But it is now in the $82 range instead of the $72 range due to the rise.  So I am putting aside $45 a month so I will have $90 with a little extra as buffer in case we do an extra can for our own as sometimes happens.  Extra cans are $12 plus additional taxes.

Finally went to the Grocery Store--Grocery Tracking Spending

November 2nd, 2021 at 05:57 pm

Last night I went to the grocery store for the first time since right before I had the Delta variant of Covid (yes, I was vaxxed, yes, I got it anyway).  I still don't have a lot of strength in my body, but I used my walker while DH pushed the shopping cart.  We went at 8:30 p.m. which was nice because there were barely any other customers in the store.  DH has been doing all the shopping, but he's not great at picking out produce.

It was great to be able to pick out my own produce again.  I found a beautiful yellow pineapple that smelled delicious and also picked up a bag of the tiny oranges (think cuties or halos or the like) to see if they were good yet (they were).  I had one of my 10% off Covid coupons with me.  I have one left now.  Originally we had eight because they gave you one every time you got the jab which was twice per person for a family of four.  They are good until the end of the year.

I ended up spending $168.45.  32 cents of that was bag fees.  They recently have allowed us to start using reusable bags again, but of course we forgot them, since it has been so long without we just aren't in the habit anymore.  Now they charge for bags again, but they weren't before this went back into effect.  So we have to get the bags back out to the car again.  The coupon savings was $18.68 and the club card savings was $8.65, for a total savings of $27.33 or 14% of the order.  If DS was still working there we would have gotten an additional 10% off the order, but oh, well.  We still did great.

Here's what I bought:

14 pounds of non-GMO fed free range chicken

3 organic broccoli crowns

1 red onion

2 yellow onions

1 small bok choy (not baby, just one with fewer stalks on it)

4 turnips

1 pineapple

2 large garnet sweet potatoes

1 huge head of elephant garlic (for planting in the garden)

1 small purple cabbage

1 2 lb bag of mandarin oranges

1 small box of organic baby romaine

2 very large parsnips (weighed in at just over 2 lbs)

12 cans cream of mushroom soup

1 large bag of Tostitos

1 medium container of Daisy sour cream

1 large Haagan Daz vanilla ice cream

1 medium Haagan Daz chocolate ice cream

They did not have the Siggi Icelandic yogurt in plain, so we will have to make a trip to Whole foods.  The nutritionist wants her eating skyr for digestive health and wants her to add honey and fruit at home so she is in charge of the amounts that go in the skyr.  She loves that brand so not an issue, but I'd just as soon just buy the honey version.  Which they still didn't have at the first store.

I will be making chicken stir-fry again this week.  I haven't made up my meal plan yet, I need to sit down and do that, but I know a couple of things that I will be making.  I would have made it up yesterday, but I had one of my crowns come off and it was very distracting and painful.  I see the dentist today at 3:00.  It was going to be 5:00 but they had a cancellation.  I didn't sleep very well, so hopefully I can be alert enough to drive by then.  I had some caffeine so hopefully it will kick in soon.  Right now my left eye doesn't want to stay open.  If not, I'll have my son drive me.  It shouldn't take long, they just have to make sure the site is clean and glue it back on with dental cement.

I need to put one of the packages of chicken in the Instant Pot and cover it with water and put in seasonings to make some broth.  The Instant Pot has made making broth so much easier.  You can do in a couple of hours what can take up to three days of simmering to make bone broth.  Although I make meat and bone broth, so DD has soft chicken to eat for a few days.

I did manage to fold one load of towels yesterday, but there are two more baskets of laundry I need to get to.  So I should probably stop procrastinating and get on with it.

 

Payday Report for 10/29/2021

October 30th, 2021 at 10:30 pm

Today was a three payday month, so it was higher than usual as they don't take medical and life insurance out of that when that happens.  Also I got my Google/AdSense payment of $111.50, so I added that in as well.  The Citi card is paid off in full now.  It's always paid off monthly, but we had a hefty balance the last two months.  When I think of how much money we spent on eating out it makes me a little sick, but then I was a lot sick, so it was kind of a necessary evil.  Thankfully it was just one meal a day, daily, but for 4 adults, 2.5 of which are gluten free, that adds up fast.

$277.22 Tithe

_400.00 Grocery Envelope

__75.00 Household Envelope

__78.82 DH Life Insurance

__60.46 My Life Insurance

__48.71 Long Term Care Insurance

__30.00 Allowance DD

__45.00 Allowance DS

2244.88 Citi

--------------------

$3260.09 Total Money Out

 

 

 

Payday Report for 10/15/2021

October 18th, 2021 at 12:24 am

As a reminder, I run a zero based budget, which means that every penny of the paycheck has a home.  I don't run a zero-based checking acount, however.  I have an $800 cushion in there, I just pretend it isn't there.  This week neither DD or I have spending money budgeted for because we both made game purchases.  The same will be true for next payday.  We did both have the money saved for it, but couldn't make it to the credit union at the time we charged them, due to illness and DH being too busy with work to run there during open hours.  I decided it would be easier to charge it and then just pay it back over the next two paychecks.  No interest will incur.

As for the Citi card, we are still paying back some of the paycheck and then most of the adjustable bed frame we bought for DD.  So no EF contributions this week.  I also cut the household envelope as I have enough money in there for now and the same with the car maintenance envelope as there is over $1000 in there.  That money went to the Citi card as well.  We are still paying off that month of take out, but due to the closing period we've paid off the card for that time period without interest.  Some of the next paycheck will go towards that, too.  I will be working on the next billing cycle early, but I just want it gone again.  As of this week I am functionally able to cook again with some help with the fetch and carry of ingredients.  It is never good when the main cook goes down as you can see from how much we've been paying Citi because of it.

$277.33 Tithe

_500.00 Utilities

_400.00 Grocery Envelope

_100.00 Gas Money Envelope

__50.00 DH Spending Money

__30.00 DS Allowance

1415.95 Citi Card (Adjustable Bed Frame for DD, plus takeout)

----------------------------

2773.28 Total Money Out

Payday Report for 10/1/2021 and Long Update

October 2nd, 2021 at 04:39 am

$277.23 Tithe

_132.00 Grocery Envelope

_310.00 Monthly Family Chiropractic Plan

_118.18 Internet

__36.00 Garbage Fund

_167.00 Car Insurance Fund

__50.00 DH's Spending Money

__50.00 My Spending Money

__30.00 DS's Spending Money

1601.98 Citi

---------------

2772.39

We had a lot of money in the grocery envelope still from last payday, mostly because DH keeps forgetting to grab it before he goes to the store and uses the credit card again, so I just made up the difference of what I usually put in there and put the rest of this payday's grocery budget towards the Citi card.  DD doesn't get spending money this payday or next because I didn't make it over to the credit union today so I let her use the credit card to make her planned purchase and to pay me back she just won't get any until the 29th.

Since DD's new adjustable full size bed frame was charged, and she needed it for medical reasons, the $500 I usually put towards medical each payday also went to the Citi card, since we charged that.  Next payday's will, too.  I also put the household money towards it, since I still have money in the household fund to meet needs in that category and we have enough toilet paper, shampoo, soap, dish soap, dishwasher soap, and laundry detergent for about two months.

The monthly family chiropractic plan went up by $30 a month.  It has been five years since he has raised that, so it was not unexpected, especially since he warned me a few months ago it would be, he just wasn't sure at the time by how much.  Internet has gone up by a penny the last few times, so I finally adjusted the budget template to take that into account.

We still have quite a bit left on the credit card, but we have paid more than the amount we needed to not have interest charged and it will be paid off by the end of this month, also before any interest is charged.  It's just been such a rough month with me not being able to cook, but today we ate leftovers and I am trying again to cook tomorrow.  My sacral illiac joint has finally decided to stay in place, so a lot of the excruciating pain has subsided.

I still have no stamina from having Covid again, and I hope the exhaustion I had the first time lifts sooner this time than last time.  Every day is a little better, but no day is really good yet.  I have to wonder how much worse it might have been if I hadn't been vaccinated.  And had antibodies of my own.  Even though I can go out in public now, I don't think I could make it through a grocery trip yet.  So I just keep sending DH for necessities and we keep getting take out.

Tomorrow I will try something easy, though, which is pot roast and baked potatoes in the Instant Pot and green beans in the microwave.  That is very little hands on time, other than seasoning the roast, washing the potatoes, and adding butter and salt to the green beans.

DH did buy me salad ingredients and the missing ingredients I needed to make Italian dressing, too.  So tonight I will try to get the lettuce cut up, the carrots peeled and sliced, the radishes sliced, the red onion sliced, the red bell pepper sliced, and the cucumbers peeled and sliced.  The cheese is already shredded and so is the chicken and I have cherry tomatoes from the garden that are washed.  I did manage to put a chicken in the Instant Pot last night to make broth, but DH had to add the filtered water since carrying that much from the filter in the laundry room was still too much for me.  Anyway, then I can easily throw a salad together.  I'll make the dressing tomorrow.  I think it is just trying to do it all in one go, which will be bad for me.

But I have to stop getting take out, not just for financial reasons.  I've put on fifteen pounds since I got really, really sick in late July.  It makes everything hurt so much more.  And the soda I've been drinking to get some caffeine to counter the exhaustion also has been bad.  So real, homemade food, and healthier food is a must now.  I've just got to pull it together and force myself to do this.

DD had her ultrasound today and the results also came back today through the patient portal.  I am surprised how fast they are sometimes there.  She does not have a hernia or a limpoma or hematoma or a surface tumor, so no one really knows why there is a big round lump pushing her skin out there.  One other possibility is there might be a tumor  too deep for the ultrasound pushing it forward, but that should have showed up on her liver MRI in the beginning of August if that were the case, I would think, unless it was too far away, but considering where her liver tumor was located, I don't think it is.  I'm not sure what the next step will be.  We won't hear from the gastro place until next week some time when they review it.  But the technician confirmed that she could see the bulge and it wasn't just our imagination.  Or it could have just grown since that MRI in the last two months, which it definitely has, but what the heck is it?

I did get some good news, though.  A disabled child can stay on DH's insurance after age 26, so we need to fill out some paperwork and so does her main doctor, but since she has all of the things, she'll qualify.  That is such a major relief.  She doesn't turn 26 until August of next year, but it has been something I have been worrying about for the last couple of years as diagnosis after diagnosis has come in.  We will start the ball rolling to see if she can get on disability, too.  That will help in paying the medical bills that aren't covered by insurance and give her a small income, too, so she doesn't have to rely on us for every little thing she needs.

She has at least 3 things that will qualify her for that, possibly five, but the secondary adreanal insufficiency is the big one that alone should qualify her for it.  It's really just a matter of filling out the paperwork, being automatically denied, appealing once or twice, and then she should be able to get it.  She's way worse off than the BIL who is on disability is, he only has the same disc issue she has, and none of the diseases.

The insurance was the real issue for us.  Disability would just be nice for her.  It would be enough to set aside for the electric wheelchair she will likely need in the next couple of years.  Not sure how we'll transport it, though.  Not sure we could afford a used wheelchair van.  But that's a worry for future me to deal with.

Payday Report for 9/20/2021

September 23rd, 2021 at 07:57 pm

$281.04 Tithe

_325.00 Groceries Envelope

_500.00 Medical Fund

__75.00 Household Envelope

1181.34 Citi

_100.00 Gas Money

__78.82 Life Insurance DH

__60.46 Life Insurance Me

__48.71 Long Term Care Insurance

__50.00 DH Spending Money

__50.00 Me Spending Money

__30.00 DD Allowance

__30.00 DS Allowance

------------------

2810.37 Total Money Out

I run a zero based budget, so that brings the paycheck down to $0.00 left.

Additional Bills that were paid out of short term sinking funds, were the 6 month car insurance bill at $965.00 and the 2 month garbage bill at $86.79.  I set money aside monthly for these things in savings and then pay them when they come due.  It allows me to easily pay for bills that are irregular instead of monthly without having to worry about it at all.

I will be glad when the garden season is over and the last of the yard waste can go to the green dump for composting, as we've had that on top of regular carbage can fees each month as well.  It's $12 for a dump load of green waste, which isn't bad if you fill the whole truck, which we do.  I usually compost most things, but not tree trimmings, rose bush trimmings, or tomato and potato plants, which can carry blight.  So while I haven't budgeted monthly for green waste, I did drop some money into a sinking fund early last spring to deal with it.  We can probably do two more dump loads and then it will be gone.  So I may or may not have to budget more.

I did have to raise the amount I was setting aside for car insurance in the budget template.  I had saved $900 and their was an additional $65.  I had guesstimated how much more it would cost with DS as a licensed driver and was a little short because he is not getting the student discount this time as he is not a student right now.  Once he buys his car, he will pay for his own insurance (or the difference in ours) and we can go back to only paying $600 every six months.  Anyway, I am now saving $167 a month instead of 150 going forward.

Payday Report for 9/3/2021

September 9th, 2021 at 04:12 am

I continue to save money to the medical fund at a rapid rate.  I need to save enough for orthodontia, plus enough for next year's medical deductible and out of pocket max.

I owed DS $9.59 because he picked stuff up from the store where he works for me, so I just added that to how much he got for his allowance.  He has $57.04 left to complete his $1000 emergency fund, so that will be met with his next paycheck.  At that point his allowance will drop from $60 every two weeks to $30 every two weeks, which is what we give his sister.  That will occur on our next payday, since he gets paid weekly.

I wanted to allow him to have spending money so he could put all his wages that didn't go to tithe or IRA, but since that is over, and he isn't doing as much around the house with his job, he can get the minimal amount we give DD, who is incapable of doing much due to her disabilities.  When he goes to full time that allowance will be gone completely.  He will be saving up for a car next and after that he will start saving for school.  He want to be an electrician.

Anyway, here's the payday report.  Every dollar is accounted for as we run a zero based budget.

$277.27 Tithe

_500.00 Utilities

_200.00 Groceries Envelope

_500.00 Medical Fund

__75.00 Household Envelope

_118.18 Internet

__36.00 Garbage

_150.00 Car Insurance Fund

_716.73 Citi

__50.00 DH spending money

__50.00 My spending money

__65.59 DS Allowance plus money owed him

__30.00 DD Allowance

--------------------------

2772.77 Total Money Out

I Feel Almost Human Again

August 18th, 2021 at 04:24 am

I haven't tried to log in since the day it kept logging me out whenever I hit post.  Notsomuch because I was fed up as that I wasn't doing particularly well.  The migraine to end all migraines hit me.  It was so bad I was having aural hallucinations.  I mean, I see auras all the time, it's part of my synesthesia, but they are tiny.  Like 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch and usually only on living things.  Not only was I seeing them on everything, they were 8 inches on objects and some of them weren't attached to anything, but were floating in big sweeps of color.

I also lost my ability to make words come out right, which has never happened before, but is a symptom of severe aural migraines.  That came back slowly over the next hour after I took my migraine medicine.  I did call the online emergency doctor's thing set up for our health insurance when I could talk again and talked to them.  I wanted to make sure it was a migraine and not a mini-stroke, though I was pretty sure it was migraine.  I still took an asprin when I took my migraine meds just in case.

My body was pulling to the left when I was walking, which is a sign of stroke, but my migraine was mostly centered on the right side of my head and the right side of the brain does control the left side of the body.  That was gone a few hours later and I didn't have any drooping.  Based on my symtpoms and the aural hallucinations, they reassured me it was likely just a really bad migraine, but if I started drooping to go to the hospital immediately.

I am still extremely sensitive to light so I am wearing my sunglasses in the house during the day and at night when I use my computer.  Still have a headache, but it is down to a normal level headache where I can function.  I didn't sleep for 24 hours, but then was able to sleep 12 hours straight and that helped a lot.  I've been sleeping more than usual as I recover.  I quit seeing things after the first day, so that was good.

I've never had one so severe.  I have had aural hallucinations with a migraine before, but they are much smaller blobs of floating colors with trails, not these huge things.  It was really weird and scary.

Obviously I didn't do anything financial over the last several days, but DH did by a new set of toilet guts for the toilet tank.  A part broke and the others showed a lot of wear and tear.  They haven't been replaced since 1985, so we decided to get a full set instead of just replace the broken pieces and the flapper.  It cost $20.98.  And it is so much nicer.  We don't have to hold down the flusher handle through the whole flush anymore. Something was preventing us from tightening it up before, because if we did it made the toilet run constantly.  Now it is a dream to flush.

BIL is Coming Home, Planning for DS, and Some Necessary Spending

August 8th, 2021 at 04:19 am

I heard from my middle sister last night and BIL should finally be coming home next week.  He'll continue to need in home rehabilitation for his lungs and physical therapy to recover from the positions he was kept in and they are sending someone in to do that.  The doctors say there is no reason that he should have survived.  He had a really bad case of Covid and so many risk factors.  My sister and I both think it is the power of prayer.  There were hundreds of people praying for him.  When even doctors call it a miracle, what else can it be?

In other news, DS is getting paid more than we thought.  Instead of it being $13.79 an hour it is $17.79 an hour.  Apparently there is a $4 an hour pay bump for hazard pay for grocery workers in my state for working with the public during a pandemic.  Even only working 20 hours a week, that is going to allow him to make some pretty quick strides towards his goals.

Goal one for him is to save up enough for a $1000 Emergency Fund.  I know Dave Ramsay says $500 for single people, but since his next goal is to save up for a car, and it'll be a beater, we both feel like $1000 is a better idea.  He's setting aside 15% until he has the amount needed to open an IRA.  He's also setting aside 10% of each paycheck until he has enough to send in a donation to a religious charity of his choosing.

I have agreed to keep giving him an allowance of $30 per week (instead of $45) until he has finished his Emergency Fund, so long as he actually does his chores and garden work and doesn't blow them off.  That way he can pile the 75% that is left of his paycheck into the EF and knock it out over the next four weeks, but still have a little spending money.  We will revisit the allowance situation then.

Then he can start saving towards a car.  We figure if he can find something that runs for $2000 to start off with, that will take him an additional 2 months.  Plus he will need to have some money set aside for insurance and car maintainance, tabs, ownership transfer tax, etc, so maybe 3 months.  By 4 months he can start saving money to partially pay for his braces (I have $3500 that I've saved) if I haven't managed to save it all myself by then.  Our insurance does not cover orthodontia.

Once the braces are paid for he will start saving up to pay for the schooling required to become an electrician, as well as start saving for a better car.  If he moves to full time after the kids go back to school everything can be accellerated.  I do hope he can.  I'd like him to save up enough money that he can do the schooling he needs to do without having to work a job.

With his ADHD, OCD (both diagnosed last year), and bi-polar (recent diagnosis), I'm not sure it is good to overwhelm him by having to do both.  He seems to be under control with his meds, but I well know how that can change in a heartbeat.  I remember how hard it was for me to work full time and go to school full time because I didn't have the choice.  At least DS has support for his mental illnesses.  My parents didn't believe in mental illness.  To this day, despite seeing it up close and personal with 3 different family members, my mother still believes you can shake off being bi-polar by thinking positively.  But that's a rant for another day.

I spent $113.10 today, including tax and shipping.  Lane Bryant online is having a big sale and I was able to pick up two more of the really good bras for $35 each instead of $55 each and some discounted underwear that matches the two I already have that they were sold out of previously.  The money came out of the clothing fund.  I've been waiting to pounce on a sale.  These particular bras have been a game changer when it comes to comfort without sacrificing support.  It's the Cacique Comfort Bliss line, which comes dangerously close to the comfort of the discontinued Cacique Barely There line, that I am still salty about over a decade later.

DH's Mom bought him a new phone because he smashed the one he bought (not the screen part, though) about six months ago when he took the case off to clean it.  He can still call out with it, but it is hit and miss whether he receives phone calls, so after a month of trying to deal with it, he needed a new one because he has to have one for work since he is still working from home.  So he ordered the same one as I have, which has been pretty good so far.  He did pay for a new case and screen protector which cost $27.18 which came out of the household budget, so I don't really need to track it to anything.  And if he wants to clean his phone like that in the future he must do it in the center of the king size bed so if he drops it, it should be fine.

I ended up making pasta for dinner last night, prawns putanesca.  It was a new recipe and it was good.  Tonight we will be having T-bones from our whole beef we bought.  I am so looking forward to it.  I will be making baked potatoes for everyone else, but I have some leftover mashed potatoes and gravy from KFC three days ago that I need to finish off, so I'll do that for me.  Then tomorrow I am back on the gluten free band wagon.  It really does make me feel so much better when I avoid wheat.

It finally rained last night and well into the day.  This is the first real rain we've had all summer.  We had one day where it barely sprinkled, but otherwise it has been very dry and hot.  It was nice to see it.  Maybe it'll green up some of the lawns again.  They look like hay.  While we live in a very nice neighborhood, most people don't waste water on their lawns here.  They save it for their gardens, trees, and flower beds, which is what we are supposed to do.  In fact the only lawn that is green right now is owned by Evil Hummer Dude and his wife, who scoff at water restrictions.

I need to make up a meal plan for next week.  Meal planning keeps me away from the take out counter.  But first I need to stop wasting time on her, and go make dinner.  


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